In a game the score refers to the amount of points achieved by a player or team.
In almost all games a high score of many points is what is needed to win the game. However, there are a few notable exceptions.
In many popular sports
points are most commonly achieved through obtaining "goals
" or "scores." For example, in soccer
, and basketball
goals are achieved by putting the ball in the opposing team's net. Other team sports like rugby
have more complicated scoring procedures.
Individual-based sports like golf and tennis have points-based scoring as well.
Most sports have time limits, which means point-based victories are usually the result of obtaining more points than one's opponent, and not simply achieving a set "magic number" of points.
Each auto racing
series has their own points system. In turn, each series have their own rules and regulations in terms of what pays points and what doesn't. First of all, what gets you points varies among series. In NASCAR
, for example, the only thing that can get a driver or owner points is simply where the car finishes in the race. The winner of the race gets 180 points. The car that finishes in last (43rd) place gets 34 points. Also, 5 bonus points are awarded for leading a lap and 5 more bonus points for leading the most laps in the race. In some series, however, especially local series, points are also awarded for getting a pole position and for starting in the top 5. In other series, such as NHRA
, which governs drag racing, points are awarded for just making the field as an incentive to have drivers come out week after week to race. Finally, some series only award points for a certain number of positions. In Formula One
, for example, only the top 8 finishers get points.
In video games
points are usually an optional, side component of gaming. Players may achieve points through normal gameplay, but their score will often not have an immediate relevance to the game itself. Instead, getting a "high score
" and then trying to beat that score in subsequent play becomes a side-challenge to offer replay value.
Some have argued that points in video games are somewhat of an anachronism in modern gaming. During the era of arcade games, when games could not be "won" or "completed," but were instead endless cycles of continuous gameplay, points had a much greater relevance. Today, however, many gamers no longer care about beating high scores since such victories offer little reward other than self-satisfaction. Many modern games no longer even keep track of score, and many that do no longer feature an option to save record high scores. Some games also have a scoring system that awards the player for restarting the level (perhaps through death) by awarding points in both plays of the level, while a single flawless run will earn less points.
Sometimes the score of a game can have relevance to gameplay. In fighting games, for example, scoring a very high number of points could result in unlockable players or modes. In arcade games or certain platformers, high scores could result in an extra life.